Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

How to Tell if a Cat Has a Broken Leg

Whether they remain indoors or venture outdoors, cats are at risk of accidents. Here, our  Stockton vets will guide you on how to identify whether your cat has a broken leg and the steps you can take to have it treated. 

Cats Can Get Into Accidents

Cats are delightfully curious, playful creatures. However, their curiosity and penchant for mischief can sometimes lead them into trouble. If you notice that your cat is hurt or injured, you may be concerned about whether it's a serious injury or if it will heal on its own. 

How to Tell the Difference Between Breaks & Sprains

Fractured and sprained legs can be difficult to tell apart, as they share many symptoms. However, the primary difference is that a stretched ligament or tendon causes a sprain, while a bone injury causes a break. 

Both types of injuries can happen due to different accidents or incidents, such as falls, car crashes, or being attacked by another animal. 

Signs & Symptoms of a Broken or Fractured Leg in Cats

Any of these symptoms in your cat can point to a broken leg or an internal injury that needs emergency or urgent veterinary care. 

  • Noticeable bruising or swelling 
  • Hissing or biting at you 
  • Refusal to groom
  • Wincing
  • Refusal to put weight on leg
  • Decreased appetite 
  • Visible deformity or open wound 
  • Howling or crying

If you suspect your cat has a broken leg, take him or her to the vet immediately. Though your kitty may not show it, broken bones can be extremely painful for cats. Your vet can accurately diagnose the problem and prescribe pain medication to ease your cat's discomfort.

What to Do If You Think Your Cat Has a Broken Leg

If you suspect your cat has a broken leg, act quickly. Keep your cat still and warm by wrapping them in a towel or blanket.

Contact your vet to explain that your cat is experiencing an emergency and needs urgent veterinary attention. 

Stay calm and follow any instructions the veterinary professional provides on the phone.

Transport your injured cat to the emergency animal center quickly and safely.

Treating Cats With Broken Legs

When you bring your kitty to the vet hospital, the vet will give emergency care, like fluids, pain relief, and breathing help. Once your cat is better, the vet will explain the different treatment choices, and suggest what's best.

Your vet might suggest non-surgery options like rest, cast or splint, but your cat might need surgery for serious injuries. A specialist vet surgeon may have to perform the surgery if it's too complicated.

If your cat needs to stay overnight, ask about visiting hours and when you'll get an update from the vet.

Caring For Your Cats Broken Leg At-Home

When you bring your cat home after seeing the vet, they will provide you with detailed instructions on how to take care of them. You might need to limit your cat's activities to promote healing.

To do this, keep your cat in a warm room without furniture that may encourage them to jump. Alternatively, you can use a cage that allows your cat to move around but prevents jumping.

Don't forget to provide your cat with food and water that's easy to access and give them any prescribed medications as directed by your vet.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Do you think your cat may have broken his or her leg? Contact us as soon as possible for emergency veterinary care.

New Patients Welcome

New Patients Welcome

Bear Creek Veterinary Hospital is welcoming new patients! Our compassionate vets are experienced in caring for Stockton companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact Us

(209) 951-8911 Contact